Mayor: HFD graffiti case may never be solved

February 17, 2010 5:07:07 PM PST
Houston's mayor is sounding off about the investigation of racist and sexist graffiti found in a Houston fire station. She's concerned the steps that were taken may have hurt the chances of finding the person behind it. The mayor says decisions that were made early on in this investigation may have made it hard to come to a conclusion and now she worries a suspect, or suspects, may never get named.

"Whether we can move forward with a resolution of this incident, I don't know and that is a source of frustration," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

After eight months of trying to track down who drew racist and sexist graffiti on the walls and personal pictures of two female firefighters at Station 54, Mayor Parker acknowledged Tuesday there are still no clear answers.

The mayor blamed decisions made in the fire department and actions by the former police chief for hindering the investigation.

"I am somewhat frustrated that (former) Chief Harold Hurtt sent the investigation onto the FBI because it is not a new investigation by the FBI, it is simply a review," said Mayor Parker.

The Office of Inspector General says there is simply not enough evidence to name a suspect. DPS and the FBI have both been called in to review findings, but officials believe they'll like come to the same conclusion.

While the news is disturbing for the attorney of Jane Draycott, he says he's not surprised.

"They didn't seem to want to look at other people. All that makes you very, very suspicious," said attorney Joe Ahmad.

He says from the beginning his client was targeted by OIG investigators, saying she was the first to submit to a lie detector test and the first to undergo handwriting analysis. While the agency denies that, saying it was typical protocol, Ahmad believes an outside agency should have looked at the case from the start.

"All to find out that they really have no idea who did this, so the perpetrators are at large still. You can imagine that is not the most comforting thought out there," said Ahmad.

The FBI is still reviewing a portion of this investigation. We're told that involves the handwriting analysis. Officials with the OIG expect those results at the end of this month.


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